Snapchat Joins the News Business

BY EMILY GRAY BROSIOUS | Jan. 23, 2015 | Featured Image: Snapchat C.E.O. Evan Spiegel (Photo by JD Lasica / via Flickr CC)

Snapchat is the latest third-party platform throwing its hat into the news ring.

On Tuesday the company unveiled Snapchat Discover, a new section within the app featuring original content from 11 different media partners including Vice, National Geographic and ESPN, among others.

Snapchat C.E.O. Evan Spiegel wants to expand the company’s business model beyond social-media messaging to ensure long-term success.

The company has been recently valued at over $10 billion. But Spiegel described that as an “outsized valuation” in a recent email written to his board members, and republished by Business Insider.

Spiegel predicts the tech-market bubble will burst within a few years. And he wants to parlay the company’s high market valuation into a sustainable business model before that happens.

“For Snapchat to capitalize on market conditions in next 3 years, it is imperative that we become a revenue-generating company,” Spiegel wrote.

More than 100 million people worldwide regularly use the photo-messaging app to take photos and videos, add text and graphics and send “Snaps” — multimedia messages with a set shelf-life — to specific friends or groups of friends.

Establishing Snapchat Discover as a destination content provider, somewhat akin to a cable news channel, might be a way for the company to translate its huge user base into a real revenue stream.

It’s unclear whether or not this model will increase profitability for news companies. However, it will most certainly increase brand recognition among the 25 and under crowd – something most news organizations still desperately need to do.

Here’s a video from Snapchat showing how the Discover section works:

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